The Record Fall 2020

From the Dean

Dean Lynda WelageDear alumni and friends,

When I’m looking for a little inspiration or guidance, one of my tools is to find quotes from other leaders and social figures to help. One quote on my mind lately is from John F. Kennedy. He said, ”Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Century Mortar Club Shifts Focus for the Future

white coat ceremony group photoFor more than 50 years, the College of Pharmacy’s Century Mortar Club (CMC) has played a key role in advancing pharmaceutical education in the College of Pharmacy. Originally founded in 1968, the CMC and its members, who include college alumni, pharmacists, and friends of the college, have demonstrated tremendous commitment to supporting students and enhancing the student experience.

College Research Funding is Third in the Nation

researcher using test tubes and dropperThe University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy ​​​​​​was awarded $29.3 million in total (NIH, other federal, and non-federal grants) grant funding in 2019. This is a record high for the college and an increase from the $19.1 million received in 2018. This improvement moves the college from a national ranking of ninth in the country to third, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

Take a Look at the New Health Sciences Education Center

outside viewing HSEC buildingConstruction of the state-of-the-art Health Sciences Education Center (HSEC) is now complete. As one of the most comprehensive interprofessional education facilities in the country, HSEC is the premier training site for tomorrow’s health professional. It is designed to transform health education in Minnesota by moving from the lecture hall to active, team-based learning in the same type of small-group environments that students will encounter as practicing healthcare professionals. Take a look inside!

Driven. Campaign Update

driven campaign logoWe are in the final year of the Driven. campaign and have raised $27,400,000 toward our goal of $30,000,000 (91% of goal). You have shown your tremendous commitment to the college. Of the 2,122 donors to the campaign, 1338 have been alumni. We greatly appreciate you all and the various ways you have supported the college’s priorities for the campaign: student support, faculty research and practice transformation. Whether you have supported student scholarships, various faculty research projects or perhaps included us in your estate for a future gift, we thank you. You’ve helped us make it to this final stretch and we’re counting on your continued support to help us realize our goal! 

If you have any questions about how to update your philanthropic plans, please contact Amy Polski Larson at or Joe Kolar at They will be happy to answer any questions you might have about where you can make an impact through your support of the college.
Your generosity has led us this far, and with your help we'll exceed our $30 million goal by July 1, 2021. To honor what is already a record-setting campaign (and counting!) for the College of Pharmacy, we look forward to hosting a college-wide campaign celebration sometime next year. Stay tuned for more details in future editions of The Record!

College News

Marilyn Speedie, PhD, dean emeritus, formally retired in July and became an emeritus faculty member. Cheryl Zimmerman, RPh, PhD, receives the Distinguished Alumni Award in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research by the School of Pharmacy at the University of Washington.  Rory Remmel, PhD, was recognized as one of the University of Washington School of Pharmacy’s Alumni Legends. The college and the Century Mortar Club recently helped Dee Weaver, honorary first lady of the college, celebrate her 98th birthday!

Alumni News

  • Kara Boyko Frandson, ‘05, received the 2019 Minnesota Hospital Association Good Catch for Patient Safety Award, which recognizes a hospital professional who speaks up to prevent potential harm to patients.
  • Rick LaLonde, ‘80, is the recipient of the 2021 ASCPT Oscar Hunter Career Award in Therapeutics.
  • Pamela Phelps, PharmD, FASHP, FMSHP, ‘82, was elected to ASHP's Board of Directors.
  • Matthew Pruitt, PharmD, ‘10, was selected as a 40 under 40 nominee for the Phoenix Business Journal, Class of 2020. 
  • Wendy Simenson, RPh, ‘77, is the recipient of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s 2020 Alumni Service Award. Read more about Wendy and this well-deserved recognition.
  • Richard Zabinski, ‘90, received the 2020 AMCP Distinguished Service Award.

Future Pharmacists

If you've recently had a new bundle of joy arrive in your family, we want to know! Send an email with news about your baby or grandchild, along with your mailing address, to to receive a "Future Pharmacist" baby shirt (available in 12 months size). In exchange, we ask you to send a photo of your new "Future Pharmacist" so we can include it in a future edition of The Record.

Mark Your Calendar

give to the max graphic with state of minnesotaGive to the Max Day is Right Around the Corner
Mark your calendars for Nov. 19, 2020. The College of Pharmacy will once again participate in Give to the Max Day. Watch for emails and social media posts to participate in this annual day of giving in support of the College of Pharmacy.

Virtual Town Halls
If you were unable to join us for the first virtual alumni town hall, you can watch it on our YouTube channel by following this link. We are grateful for everyone who joined us for the discussion and for your feedback after the event. We will keep you posted as we schedule our next town hall. If you have suggestions about topics that you would like to hear please use this form to share them with us.